From the Desk of the Editor in Chief
The U.S. Green Building Council has told Congress that buildings are the single largest contributor of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. Nearly 40 percent of these emissions in the U.S. are produced by our schools, offices, warehouses and other structures.
This month’s cover story provides conclusive proof that state and municipal governments, economic developers, property owners, architects and builders not only have heard the general alarm—all units are responding and fully engaged in a coordinated effort to put out the insidious smoldering threat.
Green building and sustainable development have become business prerequisites and, increasingly, are mandated by new laws.
More than 120 cities have enacted green building requirements, an increase of more than 400% since 2003. To date, 28 states have passed laws stipulating the implementation of green building certification of new projects using USGBC’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) point system. Nearly 40 major universities have made policy commitments to use or encourage LEED certification.
A critical new metric has joined the square foot as a key measurement in building design: carbon footprints. The goal is to reduce the size of them. Ironically, the sun is an ally in this effortÑ ingenious designs are maximizing the exposure of building interiors to natural light, minimizing the use of carbon-generated energy.
Sustainable development is now market-driven: Going green is what property owners and investors want. Businesses are responding and they have discovering that, over the long term, green building cuts costs and increases profitability.
Green is the new gold.